The American University in Cairo

I visited Mr. Mineart's THTR 227 - Acting II class on the day he had scheduled the showing of monologues that his students had prepared.  Following the showing of a given monologue he took time to work the scenes with the actors together with the active participation and input from the rest of the class.  A short break was taken halfway through the class.  The detailed work done on the monologues was definitely instrumental in improving the students' performance.

The students were present in the theatre prior to Mr. Mineart's arrival and were all set to get started.  It was clear to me that they were all quite eager to present their monologues to their instructor and share with him the work they had achieved on their own.  During the first few minutes of the class Mr. Mineart went over what was expected of them the following week.  He then proceeded to go over some of the more salient points of the Laban system of movement.  He urged them to find concrete ways to find gearshifts in their monologues.  While working the monologues with the students Mr. Mineart gave them a number of pointers on how to keep themselves focused, find operative words, and work on truth.  He explained and demonstrated the difference between playing intentions and 'sounding right' through a variety of concrete examples.  He also provided the students with a number of technical tools on how to address intentions, tactics and the various intricacies of monologues.  Tools, he pointed out, not tricks, increase your odds.  In addition to teaching acting technique to his students Mr. Mineart also makes a point of teaching them the ethical values actors should adhere to.  When a couple of students started talking during the monologue of one of their colleagues he pointed out to them that they owe their classmates the same kind of respect they expect from them.

It was very clear to me that Mr. Mineart has succeeded in gaining the respect and trust of his students.  They were quite attentive as well as eager to hear his comments on their work.  There was a definite desire on their part to produce their best and gain his approval.